ZEBULON, N.C. - The Carolina League announced rosters today for the 2019 Carolina League All-Star Classic and the Carolina Mudcats placed seven players to the Southern Division team with C Mario Feliciano, C Payton Henry, RHP Dylan File, RHP Noah Zavolas, RHP Rodrigo Benoit, RHP Matt Hardy and recently promoted OF Joantgel Segovia all receiving nominations to the upcoming All-Star event hosted by the Frederick Keys on June 18, 2019 at Nymeo Field at Harry Grove Stadium in Maryland.
The Mudcats, the proud High-A affiliate of the Milwaukee Brewers, placed seven All-Stars on the Southern Division team matching Frederick, Wilmington, Fayetteville and Down East for the high-water mark for the event. Votes were collected from field managers, team general managers and local media for all 10 Carolina League clubs.
Carolina's septet of All-Star nominees are led by Feliciano who is currently the Carolina League leader in home runs (14), RBI (47) and total bases (117) this season. He was also second in the league in extra base hits (27), second in slugging (.539) and second in OPS (.873) when the All-Star teams were announced.
C Mario Feliciano
The 20-year-old catcher recently took over sole possession of the top spot on the Carolina League leader board for home runs this season after homering twice on June 3 versus Frederick at Five County Stadium. He then went on to homer in four straight games between June 3 and June 7 while extending his league lead in homers to 14 for the season. Feliciano is also in a stretch where he has hit .400/.434/.900 with a 1.334 OPS (20 H, 14 R, 5 2B, 1 3B, 6 HR, 15 RBI) over his previous 13 games leading up to the All-Star announcements.
Milwaukee selected Feliciano with the 75th overall pick in Competitive Balance Round B of the 2016 Draft out of the Carlos Beltran Baseball Academy in Florida, Puerto Rico. Feliciano was limited due to injury to just 42 games last season with Carolina, but has since returned while turning in a breakout season with the Mudcats. Through 58 games, the Bayamon, Puerto Rico native has already established career highs in home runs and RBI this season. Feliciano is currently rated as the No. 14 prospect in the Brewers minor league system per MLB.com. The honor is the second for Feliciano in his career as he was also selected to the Midwest League's mid-season All-Star team in 2017 while playing for Low-A Wisconsin.
C Payton Henry
Henry, 21, has consistently ranked among the Carolina League leaders in RBI and home runs throughout much of the 2019 season. At the time of the All-Star team announcements Henry had totaled a .723 OPS, seven home runs, 39 RBI and 12 doubles. He had also snapped out of a mid-May slump while hitting safely in seven straight games in June while slashing .478/.500/.826 with a home run, nine RBI and a 1.326 OPS during the week leading up to the All-Star release.
A native of Pleasant Grove, Utah, Henry has evenly split time at catcher along with the aforementioned Feliciano this season. Despite playing only half of his games at catcher, Henry has still caught a league high 23 would-be base stealers (tied with Myrtle Beach catcher Miguel Amaya) over 32 starts behind the plate in 2019. Henry was also a Midwest League mid-season All-Star last season while playing for Low-A Wisconsin in 2018, making this year's honor with the Mudcats the second of his professional career. Henry was selected in the sixth round of the 2016 Draft by the Brewers and is currently rated as the No. 10 prospect in the Milwaukee system according to MLB.com.
RHP Dylan File
File, 23, is also an All-Star for the second straight season as he also made the Midwest League's mid-season All-Star team in 2018 while playing for Low-A Wisconsin. The right-handed throwing starting pitcher was third in the Carolina League in strikeouts (63), fifth innings (66.1), fourth in WHIP (1.18) and second in FIP (2.88) at the time of the All-Star roster release. File, having totaled 63 strikeouts against a minuscule seven walks so far in 2019, was also the Carolina League leader in BB/9 (0.95) and K/BB (9.00) when he was announced as a Carolina League Southern Division All-Star.
The Brewers selected File in the 21st round of the 2017 draft out of Dixie State University in Utah. The right-hander also earned Carolina League Pitcher of the Week honors earlier this season for the week of April 22 through April 28 after striking out five over six scoreless frames in one of his best starts of the season on April 25 in Myrtle Beach. File recently worked through eight scoreless innings with five strikeouts on June 2 versus Frederick and has totaled a team high six quality starts this season.
RHP Noah Zavolas
Zavolas, 23, has been one of Carolina's primary workhorses in the club's starting rotation this season having ranked near the top of the league in innings pitched throughout most of the first half. He was second in the league in innings (70.0), eighth in earned run average (3.47), second in BB/9 (1.29), second in K/BB (5.20), sixth in WHIP (1.24) and seventh in FIP (3.37) per fangraphs.com at the time of the announcements.
The Harvard product was acquired by the Brewers as part of a trade with the Seattle Mariners that included OF Domingo Santana going to the Mariners and OF Ben Gamel and Zavolas going to Milwaukee. The Mariners originally selected Zavolas in the 18th round of the 2018 Draft. His All-Star selection is his first and comes in his first full-season and second overall as a professional.
RHP Rodrigo Benoit
Benoit, 25, has maintained a constant presence at the top of the Carolina League leader board in both saves and games so far this season. His nine saves and 20 games pitched placed him tied for third and tied for first respectively in the Carolina League on the day of his All-Star nomination announcement.
The Santiago, Dominican Republic native began 2019 with six consecutive scoreless appearances before allowing his first earned run on a home run on April 21 in Fayetteville. His consistently stingy work on the mound also saw him start the year at 5-0 with a 0.46 ERA having allowed just one earned run and a .143 average against over his first 19.2 innings pitched of the season. The All-Star selection is the first for Benoit in his professional career.
RHP Matt Hardy
Hardy, 23, was tied for the Carolina League lead in both wins (6) and games (20) at the time of the All-Star announcements. Carolina's ever-consistent reliever had also totaled 44 strikeouts against just eight walks over 34.1 innings out of the bullpen for Carolina entering today's announcement. His most dominant outing of the first half came on May 16 in Lynchburg where he struck out seven and retired 10 straight over 3.1 perfect innings against the Hillcats. Hardy also went 1-0 with a 0.61 ERA, 0.75 WHIP and 11.7 SO/9 over his six most recent appearances (14.2 IP, 1 ER, 4 BB, 19 SO) leading into the nomination.
The Brewers signed the Plantation, FL native Hardy as a non-drafted free agent in June 2017. He pitched at Nova Southeastern University in Fort Lauderdale, FL before joining the Milwaukee organization. This is his first nomination to an All-Star team in his now three-year professional career.
OF Joantgel Segovia
Segovia, 22, was recently promoted to Double-A Biloxi and will not be able to participate in this year's Carolina League All-Star game. The Brewers promoted the Venezuelan born Segovia to Double-A Biloxi on May 26; just two nights after he delivered a walk-off single to lead the Mudcats (playing as Pescados de Carolina) to an extra-innings victory versus Down East at Five County Stadium.
At the time of his promotion Segovia was eighth in the Carolina League in batting (.302), tenth in on-base (.389), ninth in slugging (.444), seventh in OPS (.832) and tied for seventh in runs (28). Segovia finished his run with the Mudcats slashing .302/.389/.444 with five home runs (two leading off a game), nine doubles, 22 walks and 51 hits over 43 games.
The 2019 Carolina League All-Star Classic, presented by Visit Frederick, is scheduled for Tuesday, June 18, 2019 at Nymeo Field at Harry Grove Stadium in Maryland. It will include pregame ceremonies starting at 7:00 p.m. with first pitch scheduled for 7:15 p.m. Limited tickets to the game are still available by calling 301-815-9939 or by visiting frederickkeys.com.
The Carolina Mudcats are members of the historic Carolina League and the Class-A Advanced affiliate of the Milwaukee Brewers. First established in 1991, the two-time Southern League Champion Mudcats are entering their 29th consecutive season of baseball at Five County Stadium in Zebulon, N.C. The Mudcats are owned and operated by the Milwaukee Brewers.
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This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.